Substantial Films makes high-concept feature films that have depth. We develop and produce our own slate of films and also undertake commissioned work from producers and other production companies.
Our first film Backtrack (AKA Nazi Vengeance) is a psychological horror starring Julian Glover (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Game of Thrones) and is now available on Netflix UK. It was also picked up in North America, Australia, Germany, Scandinavia and across Asia. Our second film The Holly Kane Experiment is a dark psychological thriller with Nicky Henson (Syriana, Vera Drake) and was released in North America, the UK, Germany and across Asia through 108 Media, following festival screenings at St Louis International Film Festival, Independent Days FilmFest, Wicked Film Festival and Anchorage International Film Festival. It’s currently on Amazon Prime in the UK and ITN Distribution have picked up remaining world rights. Our third film Rupert, Rupert & Rupert is a bittersweet comedy-drama about an actor with multiple personalities. It was released in the US and UK in 2019 by Global Digital Releasing and was nominated for Best Comedy at the National Film Awards. Our fourth film False Witness is a US-set psychological thriller which was picked up by House of Film and distributed by High Octane Pictures in the US and Central City Media in the UK. We are currently in production on a new film called Decrypted, a dark comedy set in the world of the intelligence agencies starring Sophia Myles (Transformers: Age of Extinction), David Hoflin (Z: The Beginning of Everything), Emilia Fox (Silent Witness), Don Gilet (The Stranger) and Kevin McNally (Pirates of the Caribbean).
TOM SANDS | Director/Producer
In 2010, Tom dropped out of film school and cut his teeth shooting and editing a series of documentaries filmed in eight different countries. He went on to direct music videos and commercials, and in 2014 produced and directed his first feature film - Backtrack. In 2015, he produced and directed the psychological thriller The Holly Kane Experiment and in 2016, he produced and directed the comedy-drama Rupert, Rupert & Rupert. In 2018, he finished another psychological thriller called False Witness and is currently in production on his fifth film, Decrypted.
MICK SANDS | Writer/Producer
Mick had a successful career as an advertising copywriter at top London agencies like JWT, DDB and Leagas Delaney, where he wrote more than 60 broadcast TV commercials and won all of the major industry awards, including golds and silvers at D&AD, BTAA and Cannes. He was then commissioned to write the screenplays Millennium Man for Parallel Pictures and The Red King for Warner Bros. He has had screenplays optioned by Gary Kurtz (producer of Star Wars), David Kennaway (producer of The Rocket Post) and Imaginary Films. Mick wrote the screenplays for Backtrack; The Holly Kane Experiment; Rupert, Rupert & Rupert; False Witness; and Decrypted.
PHIL HARRIS | Producer/Editor
Phil was a successful music entrepreneur, running several businesses including online and FM radio stations, club promotion, a record label and online/high street music retail. He found his way into the film industry by directing music videos and teamed up with director Tom Sands and writer Mick Sands in 2013 to become the lead producer at Substantial Films. Since then he has produced four feature films, securing major festival showings and global distribution. An entrepreneurial spirit combined with real on-the-ground experience explains his reputation for bringing ambitious projects in on time and on budget. Phil is a keen environmentalist and is always looking for ways to reduce our production carbon footprint - he has completed the Albert carbon literacy course.
SANDY BATCHELOR | Producer
Sandy joins the team as a producer on All Out. Sandy is also an actor and he has played the lead roles in two films directed by Tom - Rupert, Rupert & Rupert and False Witness. His stage work includes runs at the National Theatre, Bath Theatre Royal, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Sheffield Crucible and Hammersmith Lyric. Screen work includes Rise and Fall of the Krays, Our World War and Ordeal by Innocence. A Scottish native, Sandy’s relatives witnessed the incredible victory of the Freuchiue village cricket team at Lord’s - the true events upon which All Out is based.